The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts by Linda G.

Full Snow Moon Followed by a Snowy Day

Various Native American tribes had various names for the different moons of the year, tied to natural phenomena that reliably occurred alongside them. February is a snowy month in the northern and eastern US; hence the full “snow” moon.

The moon rise last night happened at 6:06 pm, but it didn’t rise above the hill that blocked its view until 6:50 pm.  The moon had been full 7 hours previously, so the moon that rose wasn’t completely full.

The Almost-Full Snow Moon

Four minutes later the moon had risen a little higher in the sky.

The Almost-Full Snow Moon

It was a bit chilly last evening, waiting for the moon to rise over the hill so I could see it! I had enough of the cold, so I didn’t wait for the moon to rise above the tree!

The snow moon was followed by a snowy day.

Snowy day

Currently there is a winter weather advisory in effect until 6:00 am tomorrow morning.  Mixed precipitation is expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch are expected. Snow fell during the late morning and is expected to continue through mid afternoon.  The snow is expected to change to sleet by late afternoon, then over to lighter freezing rain this evening.

Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival

This weekend is the Presidents Day Weekend Winter Festival in Mayville, NY. The highlight of the festival, at least for Bob and me, is the castle made of ice blocks. The first winter festival held in Mayville was in February 1987.  Bob and I attended this year’s festival on Saturday.  As in past years the festival was held on the grounds of Lakeside Park, located on the shores of Chautauqua Lake.

We parked in a lot off Valley Street ($5.00 donation to park) and walked across NYS Route 394 to the ice castle.  We didn’t stop at the ice castle.  We walked past the gazebo to the park building, located at the opposite end of the park.  During our walk we ran into a friend, Pete F., and his wife, Linda.  We said hi to Pete, who then introduced us to Linda.  The four of us chatted for a short time, before continuing our separate ways.

We walked into the park building and looked around.  Inside the park building we found restrooms and a few vendors.  We noticed tables where tickets were being sold for a scavenger hunt and for the beer and wine tent.  Leaving the park building, we walked out on the ice-covered Chautauqua Lake.

Linda on ice-covered lake

While on the lake, it was announced a few times that anyone on the ice were on it at their own risk. I read in a local newspaper article that the ice on Chautauqua Lake a few weeks ago was approximately 12- to 18-inches thick and had melted down to a mere 6 inches. There was a square cut into the ice that would be the location of the polar bear plunge later in the day.

Linda on ice-covered lake near opening in ice

Everyone was warned to stay 50 feet away from that opening in the ice.


We stopped at each vendor tent on our way back to the ice castle.  There were food tents, a beer and wine tent, a wood carver, at least one game of chance, and a vendor tent. 

A bar made out of the ice blocks in the beer and wine tent

Chain saw carver

Some of the prizes in Ball in Bowl game

There were horse-drawn carriage rides available too.

It didn’t take long to make our way back to the ice castle.

Bob took this picture of me in front of the ice castle.

It was 12:30 pm, when we made it back to the ice castle.  I wanted to stay for the polar bear plunge, but the plunge wouldn’t happen until 2:00 pm.  It was cold.  We weren’t hungry, and there wasn’t anything going on at the festival that would hold our attention for 1 1/2 hours.  So, we left for home soon after returning to the ice castle. I guess we should have timed our arrival closer to the time of the polar bear plunge.  Oh, and fireworks would be set off later in the evening.  We didn’t see the fireworks either.


Postal Delivery

I received a text message from Bob today.  The message read:  “I see you found your Valentine’s day / birthday present“.

This is what Bob saw.




It isn’t Valentines Day yet.  My birthday is even later this month.


Bob said I could open up the box.



My Valentines Day / Birthday Present


Thank you so much, sweetheart, for my new Instant Pot!  I love you!

The End to Cabin Fever

As it was for much of the United States, we experienced cold weather and bitter wind chills at the end of January.  On the morning of February 2nd Pennsylvania’s legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow, which means that Spring is right around the corner.  I hope that Phil is correct in his prediction.  Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, Spring will be here on March 20th.  Here, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, the weather forecast this past Saturday for the next several days makes it look like Spring is on our doorstep.

Spring is knocking on our door!


We went for a drive late Sunday morning into the early afternoon. 

A portion of our drive was along the eastern side of the Allegheny Reservoir.  Our first stop was at Big Bend Recreation Area, located just below Kinzua Dam, where we looked for eagles.  We didn’t see any.  

We continued our drive on Pennsylvania Route 59 to Pennsylvania Route 321 past Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir.  We stopped here.

Sugar Bay on the Allegheny Reservoir

The “My Two Cents” Snowman at Sugar Bay

Bob built the snowman, while I was taking pictures of the bay.

Continuing our drive on Pennsylvania Route 321 we came to a T-intersection.  We turned left onto Pennsylvania Route 346.  At he New York state line Pennsylvania Route 346 becomes New York State Route 280.  We followed Route 280 to Allegany State Park.  

We drove through Allegany State Park, making only one photo stop.  We drove over a bridge and had gotten a few hundred feet further along the road, when I said to Bob “We have to turn around!  I saw something that I want to photograph!”.  Bob turned around.

A snow and ice sculpture I found in one of the streams at Allegany State Park.

A snow and ice sculpture

Bob said the snow and ice sculpture resembled a porcupine.  I thought it resembled a peacock or turkey, with its feathers fanned out.  

From Allegany State Park we made our way back home.  We returned home around 2:00 pm.  I am glad that we went for a drive.  What a beautiful day it was with blue skies, brilliant sunshine and a high temperature of 52 degrees!  I could feel my cabin fever breaking, as the sunshine beamed down through the moon roof and especially when I stepped out into the pleasantly warm outdoor air. 

Presque Isle State Park Day Trip

We left home at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 26th, en route Erie.  I did not like traveling on either Follett Run Road or Preston Road, both of which were snow covered and hilly.  The road surface for the remainder of our drive to Erie was good.  We drove to the following destinations, while in Erie:  Presque Isle State Park. Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, Best Buy and Sam’s Club.

Arriving at Presque Isle State Park, we drove around the peninsula, making a few stops along the way. 

Soon after entering the park, we noticed the trees were coated with white snow.

The snow-covered trees along Peninsula Drive were gorgeous!

We saw the new emergency intake tower, which often is mistaken for a lighthouse, at the Waterworks area.  Bob and I have always referred to the tower as a lighthouse.  I told Bob that the lighthouse was in a different spot, when we first saw it.  Bob said no it wasn’t.  I said yes it is.  Well, I am right.  I have photographic and written proof!

This was the old Waterworks Lighthouse.

The old Waterworks Lighthouse was removed in late 2017.  It is believed that the emergency intake tower was installed in the early 1900s. The valve apparatus has not been operational for decades,

The newly restored and repainted lighthouse was installed in September 2018.  It is located to the left of the original lighthouse and quite a bit forward of the sign seen in the photograph displayed above.  It was installed on land, not on water.  Donations helped to pay for the $80,000 project, with $50,000 coming from the Dan and Sallie Shipley Charitable Fund.

This is the new Waterworks Lighthouse.

Jayme, one of Bob’s coworkers, told Bob that he would be ice fishing on either Misery Bay or Horseshoe Pond.  We planned to walk across the ice to where Jayme was fishing.  As it turned out, Jayme didn’t go to Presque Isle to ice fish, as he had heard that the ice wasn’t good.  There were some ice fishing huts both on Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond.

Horseshoe Pond Houseboats and Ice Fishing Hut

This houseboat with a replica of the North Pier Lighthouse is my favorite of all the houseboats on Horseshoe Pond.

Panoramic Image of some of the houseboats on Horseshoe Pond and Ice Fishing Huts

Continuing around Presque Isle we stopped at the Waterworks area, located across Peninsula Drive from where we had stopped earlier to admire the new Waterworks Lighthouse.  We were on the lake side of the peninsula.

Lake Erie

Today was Snow Day at Presque Isle State Park.  At the event, organized by the Presque Isle Partnership, visitors could enjoy everything from dog sled and snow show demonstrations, to outdoor cooking and ice fishing.  Our interest in stopping at this event was to see a dog sled demonstration, which we did. 

Bob captured video of the dog sled demonstration, while I captured still images.  Bob’s video is short, only a little over a minute.  So please do click on the play button!



Dog Sled Demo at Presque Isle Snow Day event


Shortly before the dog sled demo we petted one of the Siberian Huskies, a beautiful girl named Meeka.  She was really soft!  Meeka was the lead dog in the dog sled demonstration that we watched.

From Presque Isle State Park we drove to Cheddars Scratch Kitchen, where we ate lunch.  Bob ordered from the “Lighter Side”.  The entree Bob chose was bourbon-glazed grilled salmon over seasoned rice, broccoli cheese casserole and a house salad.  I ordered from “Comfort Food”.  My entree was homemade chicken pot pie with a house salad.  We enjoyed both of our meals.

From Cheddars we drove to Best Buy.  In June 2017 I purchased a 10.5 in. 256 GB iPad Pro tablet.  At the time I was in a quandary.  Do I buy the 10.5 in. tablet or the bigger, more expensive 12.9 in. tablet.  I chose the 10.5 in. tablet because I thought the larger tablet would be too big for me.  In hindsight, I should have purchased the 12.9 in. tablet.  Well, today, I purchased a new 12.9 in. 256 GB iPad Pro tablet, along with a Smart Keyboard case and Apple Pencil.  The Smart Keyboard case was not in stock.  I am expecting delivery of the Smart Keyboard case by Tuesday, Jan. 29th.  The new Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to my iPad, a feature that I love.  So, I am a happy owner of a new iPad Pro tablet!  I plan to sell my 10.5 in. iPad Pro, along with its keyboard and pencil, as a package in the near future.

From Best Buy we drove to Sam’s Club, where we picked up a few groceries.  We renewed our Sam’s Club membership in December last year, after allowing the membership to lapse a few months prior when Sam’s Club closed in Jamestown, NY.  The Sam’s Club in Erie is farther for us to drive than it was for us to go to Sam’s Club in Jamestown.  After several months without a membership, we decided that we go to Erie often enough that a Sam’s Club membership would be worthwhile.  Besides I miss some of the foods and paper products that we would buy at Sam’s Club.  The reason for driving to Erie on Saturday was to go to Sam’s Club.

From Sam’s Club we made our way back home.  I didn’t believe snow was in Saturday’s forecast.  Well, it snowed the whole way back home!

Pennsylvania 2019 River of the Year

I read today that the Clarion River in northwestern Pennsylvania was voted the state’s 2019 River of the Year.

Here are a few photographs that I have taken over the past few years of the Clarion River.

Clarion River, August 2013

Clarion River, March 2014

Clarion River, April 2016

Clarion River, April 2016 on the First Day of Trout Season

Clarion River, April 2016. We enjoy riding the motorcycle on River Road.

Clarion River, May 2017 in Hallton, PA.

Corning NY to Warren PA

We got up around 5:30 am the morning of Sunday, January 13.  By 6:30 am we had both showered, gotten dressed and eaten breakfast.  Breakfast was instant oatmeal cups and a banana.  

Staying in an AirBnB, where we had an entire house to ourselves, meant that what we carried in from the car was spread throughout the house.  We went room by room gathering our stuff.  We left, en route Hamburg NY, at 7:45 am.   Hamburg was not in our weekend plans.  We planned to return to Corning Museum of Glass for a few hours and then begin our drive back home.  Instead we drove to a telephone repair shop in Hamburg.  Bob’s Google Pixel 2XL phone stopped charging the previous night.  The nearest authorized repair shop (both here in NY as well as from home) to have his phone fixed was in Hamburg.

We arrived at UBREAKIFIX shortly before 10:00 am.  We have a 2 hour wait before the shop opens!  Bob thought the shop opened at 10:00 am.  We ate a second, bigger breakfast at Tim Horton’s.  Then we went to nearby McKinley Mall to kill time.

We didn’t think McKinley Mall would allow us to kill much time, as we saw many “for lease” signs on store windows.  There are more open stores at the mall than we had thought, though, and we killed sufficient time.  We made a couple purchases too–Valentines Day gifts for our granddaughters and a gutter leaf scooper for Bob.  Bob has been using his hands to remove leaves in our gutters.  The scooper will be an improvement.

Bob walked into UBREAKIFIX at noon.  He walked back out less than 10 minutes later.  No charge!  The charging port needed to be cleaned.  Bob had cleaned it but not as well as UBREAKIFIX did.  The service technician used a machine to clean the phone.  The phone is fixed and didn’t cost anything!

Leaving Hamburg we followed NY State Route 5, along Lake Erie.  We stopped at Evangola State Park (Farnham NY) so that Bob could join an online training session for diabetes prevention.  The training session began at 1:00 pm.  I went for a walk to the lake shore and took a few pictures. 

Beach at Evangola State Park

I didn’t walk on the beach because of all the driftwood lying between me and the beach.  I didn’t want to risk stumbling and falling down.  Looking back, I may have been able to find a piece of driftwood that resembled a walking stick and used that to safely cross to the beach.

Beach at Evangola State Park

I did enjoy the view, though, looking down on the beach.

I stayed out until the bitter cold air blowing across the lake got to be too much for me.  Although it was a sunny day and the temperature was in the lower 20s, the windchill was much colder.

Bob broke off the connection to his training session after 30 minutes due to bad connectivity.  He will watch the video later.

Back on NY State Route 5 we stopped briefly at the Eagle Bay pullover, located just west of Silver Creek, where I took a couple short videos of the rolling waves.


Continuing on NY State Route 5 we stopped at Chadwick Bay.  We have seen eagles at Chadwick Bay.  We didn’t see any eagles that day.  I do have a couple icy pictures to share with you, though.

Ice-Encassed Bench at Chadwick Bay

This bench would be a very cold seat!

We turned south onto Central Avenue and drove through Fredonia NY.   We picked up Route 73 south and hopped onto Route 380 through Stockton NY.  We continued driving on Route 380 through Falconer to Route 62 and home. 

We returned home by 5:00 pm, after a fuel stop and going through a car wash.


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